Waving A White Flag - My Messy Beautiful

When you wave your white flag, anything is possible.
Last Thursday I waved my white flag. 

I've come to the conclusion that Thursdays are the worst day of the week. It may have something to do with the fact that the first half of the week is usually jam packed. Maybe it's because I usually close on Wednesday nights and so I don't get to see my kids after school. It could be because by Wednesday we are ready to exhale and sit outside with our neighbors instead of doing the hard stuff like homework and dinner at the dinner table. Whatever the reason, Thursday mornings are horrible and terrible and someone always cries.

Last Thursday was one of those days. Caitlin started crying before she even got out of bed. I was in super mom mode and made my demands as I walked in and out of her room. Still she cried. I gave her warnings, I threatened to take away her iPad time, I even threatened to take her to school in her pajamas. Still she cried. I physically had to get her out of bed. Pulling one leg and one arm, demanding that she stand on her own. She cried harder. We finally found something to wear, combed her hair, and she cried all the way through. She cried as she ate her cinnamon roll, baked just for her, just to make the morning easier, just to make her feel special. She left it after two bites. And continued to cry.

Crying in the morning isn't anything new. It's not like we haven't had a month full of mornings just like this one. But pushing her on this day felt different. I didn't want to push. I didn't want to threaten or yell, or lose my temper like mornings of my past. I was exhausted. My heart hurt. My head hurt. And I just didn't want to do it anymore. Not on that day anyway.

So I waved my white flag. I let it fly high for all to see. Because that was it. I was done.

I surrendered to motherhood last Thursday. I surrendered to the chaos of it all. To the mess and the beautiful. I allowed myself to surrender to the schedule and the demands of morning routines that have never really been established. I surrendered to being angry at things I cannot control. I surrendered to the books that say I should have more discipline. I surrendered to the looks I'm bound to get from those who think I'm giving up. Because I'm not giving up, I'm just asking for peace, for a ceasefire, for a negotiation on the terms of motherhood.

Flying my white flag last Thursday allowed me to sit with my daughter who gets so little of my time. To kiss the top of her head and hold her hand while we watched cartoons she has long grown out of. It allowed us to talk about our mornings and how we can try again tomorrow, and the next day and the day after that. My white flag gave me time to relax, sit in my recliner, and watch my girls play together in the quiet of a school day morning with no time constraints or commitments. And yes I admit, we should have been in school, we should have been at dance, I should have been more committed to our commitments. But it felt pretty damn good to wave my white flag and be at peace.

Years ago, surrendering to motherhood would have left me deflated and disappointed in myself. I would have spent days obsessing about how I could do better and be better. Last Thursday I realized that the mistakes and missteps are temporary. I won't wave my white flag every morning. I'm not giving up on motherhood or me, I'm just taking a time out from a war that I cannot control to get a little peace. Because the battles will continue. Next Thursday it will be something else. Next Monday another thing. I can't let motherhood defeat me, but I can ask for a ceasefire every now and again. Something I wish I knew was possible so many years ago.

I promise you I'm not giving up. I'm just surrendering to the mess. I'm surrendering to the beautiful. I'm surrendering to the tears and the tantrums. To the little people who still crawl into bed in the middle of the night. To the dinners eaten in the cart at Costco. I'm surrendering to the store bought cupcakes the day of the party, and the days spent in pajamas as the world gets dressed around us. I'm surrendering to all the things that will never make or break the love I have for my children. Because I haven't given up on them or me. 

Some days you just have to surrender. You have to wave your white flag. You have to make peace with motherhood and yourself. Some days you just have to surrender to your messy beautiful.

I'm joining Glennon at Momastery to celebrate Carry On Warrior's first year.
Join me and other bloggers as we share our Messy Beautiful.
Carry on Warriors.


  1. Sometimes surrendering is the best medicine for you... And for The #absolute_girlies. Surrendering isn't quitting at all. It's winning. Winning every match of this crazy beautiful messy life of ours.

  2. I find myself having to surrender a lot. With two toddlers and a baby...oh boy it can be so hard. Sometimes surrounding looks like sitting in front of the tv all day and being okay with that. Sometimes it looks like peanut and jelly sandwiches for lunch and dinner. I'm trying to be okay with that! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Yes! To all of this! There are times that the mess just has to happen. The fights and demands have to be made, but then there are times that it's just not worth it and we have to hold onto those moments where we allow are white flags to fly. No, your not giving up. Your teaching your daughters that it's okay to just let it go sometimes and enjoy the little things and that my friend is a beautiful lesson. xoxo.

  4. I surrender way more than I ever thought I would. Sometimes it's the only way to survive.

  5. I wish I had the courage to surrender! I think maybe if I surrendered from time to time, it would be a good thing to all involved. I'm still committed to the yelling, threatening and everyone getting with the routine and schedule. I have 3 teens - but believe me, that doesn't make it easier. We still have a hard time with schedules, organization, commitment and mature decision making. I should surrender more. We all deserve that.